"Hysteria" by Ladybeard - Generating difficult conversations

Today, Ladybeard magazine launches a series of events called "Hysteria" and of course we were both very excited and curious about what they have planned. 

What is the aim of "Hysteria"?

The events are inspired by a now obsolete psychological term attributed to women who exhibited symptoms viewed as excessive: nervousness, emotional outbursts, wanting sex, not wanting sex. There was something about this so-called female disorder that really resonated with us and felt reflective of how women are often still understood today.

Ladybeard's ethos is to create a platform for the voices you won't hear in women's magazines, championing the ideas of people who live any and every deviation from the straight, white, cis, able-bodied 'ideal'. With Hysteria, we wanted to open up space in a painfully male art world for trailblazing women and non binary artists and thinkers to talk about those 'forbidden' or pathologised desires and emotions. The idea is to generate difficult conversations.

How did "Hysteria" come into being?

We've been wanting to put on a series of events for a long time -- Ladybeard events are a really important part of the magazine, they are basically everything we aim to do in print in terms of exchanging challenging ideas, and playing with concepts of fixed gender and identity, but made live. The people who come to our events are always so eclectic and bring fantastic ideas into the space, so the energy at a talk feels really exciting. They are also a really great way to platform bold new film and performance work. The opportunity to watch porn for example, all together in a room, and then debrief afterwards is pretty novel. In terms of how it came into being: we've been planning the talks and exhibits for over half a year now.

We're working with over 25 female and non binary artists who are all generously bringing their materials, or setting up the installations inside the space. A key aim is that the experience is really physical: so we're doing life drawing, but you as a participant are invited to strip off too. We've got an immersive VR piece by Jocelyn Anquetil which focuses on jealousy and competitiveness in the age of social media, and an evening of performance from Woman Srsly, exploring different states of mind.

Your slogan is a "series of events celebrating women causing trouble"? Why do we need to cause trouble? And how can we cause even more trouble?

We need to cause trouble because we have to keep fighting against a system that oppresses us. We need difficult women desperately, all the more today. All the artists and thinkers on this programme free us from the dominant ideology: they're asking questions and creating experiences that let you see your life, or the political situation, or the gender system differently for a moment. That's so valuable and exciting and we're so lucky to be curating a space where all this amazing work can be interacted with in a really immersive way. Events actually give us the opportunity to get together in the same space and mobilise in a way - to connect and share ideas and have experiences together, in a world where we usually do so mostly via a tiny screen in our hands.

Tickets for the events are affordable, £5. We still wonder, are there free / reduced fee tickets being offered for activists, unwaged etc?

Our main artistic aim is to create events that are accessible to everyone irrespective of their financial background, therefore all of our events offer donation based or free tickets -- if you can't pay for whatever reason, email us at events@ladybeardmagazine.co.uk and we'll work something out.

Go and cause some trouble yourself at the "Hysteria" events from 22nd to 26th of March.
 

Thursday: TECHNICAL ISSUES
An evening exploring a new generation of female artists who are making waves in digital art
For full list of featured artists and tickets see here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ladybeard-presents-technical-issues-tickets-44019825483

Friday: DIRTY LOOKS
An intimate evening of erotic feminist cinema
For full list of featured artists and tickets see here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dirty-looks-tickets-44023036086

Saturday - Sunday: SYRUP PRESENTS SPIRAL
Group show of female artists exploring anxiety through performance, animation, film and installation
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ladybeard-presents-spiral-by-syrup-magazine-tickets-44025731147

Sunday: WOMAN SRSLY
Special guest performances curated by the platform championing bold new female-led performance
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ladybeard-presents-woman-srsly-tickets-44080617313

Monday: COLLABORATIVE LIFE DRAWING
Come get naked with us
 

Thumbnail Image by Natalia Stuyk